Affordable summer holiday?(23 Posts)
I'd really love for us to go on holiday this year, but we don't really have a big budget. Would be for 3 adults, a 4 year old and a toddler.
I'd like self-catering, either in this country or abroad - somewhere driveable, I.e France or even Belgium or Netherlands.
I've been looking at some of the European Centre Parcs places. They look good, but still fairly pricey, plus as I've never been to CP in this country, I don't really know much about them.
We've been to Bosinver in Cornwall after reading about it on mumsnet and it was amazing. I'd love to go back, but their prices in the school holidays are about 3 times what we paid last year (term-time) that we just couldn't afford it again.
I'm probably looking for the impossible, but are there any cheaper Bosinvers about?
We are fond of The Hague (sounds a bit left-field to say that but it's nice, and interesting!) We go on the Stena ferry from Harwich which has been an amazing experience in the Summer (possibly not the winter, never tried) - have never slept so well! There is plenty to do there and you are very close to the north Dutch beaches and seaside too. Easy to get to Delft. Look up Kijkduinpark for some price ideas. If you went around Spring, maybe, you would also get the journeys through all the Spring flower fields which would be gorgeous.
The National Trust and Scottish equivalents also offer volunteering holidays. I have not tried one but know people who enjoyed doing this. They're pretty popular and open up for signing up around now. You could also see if you can volunteer for The Landmark Trust/contact them - their properties are incredible but, for us, very pricey. I'm saving up for the one I have fallen in love with for a big birthday!
Look at last week of August as prices tend to dip as European schools return. You are probably looking for a small gites yep complex. Chez Nous or Wake up in France might be worth a look.
Look at Landal Green Parks, they are great for toddlers. I've just looked and one in Belgium is about 479 euros for a 3 bed in the summer (1 week 24 August). That's about £350 ish I think. They vary a bit from park to park and depend which level of accommodation you chose.
Tesco clubcards can get you a free Eurotunnel crossing as well if you have enough points.
Thanks for all the tips.
National trust looks good for the future. My children are too young for it at the moment unfortunately. I'd never heard of it before though, so will definitely consider it in a few years.
I really like the look of Landal, have just been looking at their website. Has anyone been before? I particularly like the look of Het Vennenbos.
Thanks for the tip about the last week of August. I hadn't realised it was cheaper, so that's good to know!
We have done Rabbit Hill and Hoog Vaals (or something like that). They are great for little ones. There have been previous threads so worth having a look.
Now mine are 11 and 16 the European Centre Parcs are better for them. I think maybe Het Vennenbos is actually an ex Center Parc site that Landalbought but could be wrong
I love Holland for holidays, we went to Duinrell 5 years in a row and loved it.
I really want to go back but DH hats driving on the other side of the rd.
Hiring a cottage is a lot cheaper in France than in the UK - I was surprised how much cheaper it was. We got a three bedroom cottage near Calais in a massive wood for a week for about £400, and that was in early August. There are beaches and seaside attractions for the kids. Lille is easily reached on train and has some good museums. As it is near Calais there is not much driving involved. I am guessing the four year old will be back to school in September, it would be a lot cheaper in September.
I'd agree with going the last week of August - it's much cheaper then. Using the Eurotunnel with Tesco vouchers makes it really cheap or even free. Book early for the best prices. I think you can use Tesco vouchers with P&O ferries too. Book direct rather than with operators such as Eurocamp.
We have been to Duinrell twice & would really recommend it although it's a bit of a drive from Calais. We'll take the ferry next time we go. The kids (8 & 5 the first time we went) loved it & can't wait to return. Look also at Sun Parks (Belgium) & Les Castels (France).
The area south of Calais (Boulogne area) is actually quite nice with a fair bit to do if you don't want to drive too far,
* Using Tesco vouchers makes travel cheap/free, not the whole holiday!
You can only use clubcard vouchers for P&O Irish Ferries, so you cant use them to get to France, but you can use them for the Channel Tunnel (we are doing that this summer).
What about Ireland?
You can also use clubcard vouchers to get money off cottages with cottages4u (£30 worth of vouchers = £100 off the cottage, although that is the maximum).
I have done a few of the Parkdean Holidays and have always had a lovely time, not everyones cup if tea but great locations, have done Challaborough bay and Lewe and had a fantastic time. Not expensive imo.
I can recommend Landal. Also, take a look at roompot.nl. We stayed at one of their holiday parks called 'De Katjeskelder' which is close to the Efteling. The Efteling is absolutely superb, much better than Duinrell, although it is more expensive. Duinrell is great though and can offer very good value for money, especially if you shop around (Canvas Holidays sometimes offer good deals and their holidays include the ferry crossing in the price) There are lots of excellent and reasonably priced holiday parks in Holland, especially if you can time it so that you go when the Dutch kids are not on holiday. Beekse Bergen is also good...like a small Duinrell with a zoo.
Another one here that recommends Landal. We stayed in Rabbit Hill last summer hols, think we actually booked through Hoseasons site. The Netherlands are brilliant, dds 2&9 had a blast. We are looking at Landal for this year.
Camping in cornwall. Cheap and lots of fun. Loads of beautiful beaches. Or a haven holiday. Pwhelli on Llyn peninsula in Wales is stunning. Lots of beautiful beaches nearby.
You can use Tesco clubcard vouchers towards Stena Line hook of Holland ferry crossings too, ideal if going from Harwich.
Unfortunately I don't have a clubcard!
I have looked though, and we could do the ferry for all of us for about £100 return for the last week of August, which I didn't think was bad.
Thanks for all the other suggestions Will look them up.
Camping would be great, but with a 1 year old and a grandparent, I think a cottage / chalet would suit us better. Plus we only own a tiny tent from pre dc, so would need to buy new equipment first.
Campsites dont have to mean tents!
For campsites in France you can easily find mobile homes. Honestly, a mobile home holiday with small children can be great (we have been doing these since my DCs were tiny). Campsites mean that you get a pool, shop, takeaway, play ground all within walking distance. There is a great family atmosphere which children do enjoy.
We have found Select Camp better value than booking with Eurocamp.
Also you can look at booking direct with a campsite in France. We have done this a couple of times and found it an even better deal.
It feels a bit scary at first but we have been happy with the experience. Booking direct I think that it is normal to pay a deposit then pay the balance on arrival which gives you longer to save.
Try J M Continental at La Baume in south of France, we did a fly drive, it was the best holiday we have ever had, do much cheaper than Eurocamp and not far from Nice airport
Another vote for Landal. We did a week in Germany last Easter for £190 for for of us. Brand new resort so prices were slightly cheaper than normal. Used Tesco club card for tunnel.
We have also hired a caravan on South Coast using owners direct where you hire direct from individual owners. We had a lovely small park in pevensy with a pool and 200m from the beach. It was great for a bucket and spade holiday when the children were young.
Canvas Holidays have mobile homes in Duinrell and a couple of other English companies too and as I said before, the ferry crossing is included in the price. If you can get a good deal at Duinrell you will have a very cheap holiday because you have all the entertainment you need on your doorstep and by self-catering you'll save a lot of money. Duinrell is fabulous for kids, big and small!
Beekse Bergen in holland looks ace for young children.
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